Date: 7/16/17 6:06 am
From: Lawrence Herbert <certhia13...>
Subject: Re: Reporting accurately on eBird
Excellent comments, Dave,
We may as well pitch all of our A. C Bent, and G. M. Sutton books.
They're info can't possibly be correct !
Larry, in Joplin.
Lawrence Herbert <certhia13...> 7-16-17.

On Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 1:18 AM, David Starrett <StarrettDA...>

> So this brings up another issue with eBird. I have had this conversation
> with a number of ebird reviewers and none could satisfy me. My concern
> goes like this.
> At some point, data started being submitted to eBird. Everything was
> "accepted". As the data filled up at some point a filter was turned on.
> New data that didn't match/fit was rejected or required proof. So, any
> data that went in originally was assumed accurate, but later data was
> filtered. There is no inherent reason the first data is any more accurate
> than latter, it is just the order of entry. I am oversimplifying, but to
> make a point.
> I have had this manifest itself more than once. My father had detailed
> records of 8,600 sightings spread out over 50 years on all seven
> continents. He passed away 10 years ago. I painstakingly uploaded all his
> sightings to eBird. My dad was a field biologist. He knew how to take
> accurate and detailed notes. I trust his sightings to be more accurate
> than mine. I received dozens and dozens of ebird reviewer flags. They
> asked questions I couldn't answer since he saw the bird not me. So they
> rejected the submissions. Many times they were asking about data 20-40
> years old. They were using current range maps and counts. When I asked if
> it was possible that when he saw the bird back then the range was different
> or the population density was higher, etc. 100% of the time the answer was
> no.
> The classic case for me was Florida scrub jay. He had a sighting from
> 1945. It was not in the current range, but not far from it. And in eBird,
> a couple of the older sightings were at the edge of the range near my
> father's sighting. Submission was rejected. When I suggested to the
> reviewer that rather than assume my dad's sighting as in error consider
> that he might have just provided valuable historical data about the Jay's
> range. We had a back and forth about this and eventually the reviewer,
> somewhat rudely even, dismissed the submission as unreliable and let me
> keep it on my dad's list, but out of the actual eBird data. I am sure of
> the sighting and location. eBird has rejected data that could support a
> changing range. That sighting is 70 years old. We know bird ranges
> change, they are changing now. Why is the assumption the data is invalid
> rather than valuable.
> I am bothered by this first in data closes the door behind them approach.
> I realize there is much more to it than this and I am oversimplifying, but
> it does seem that maybe the method of validating data has some flaws to it.
> Dave
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> David Starrett
> Columbia, MO
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Missouri Wild Bird Forum <MOBIRDS-L...> on behalf of
> Kathleen Anderson <andersonka...>
> *Sent:* Friday, July 14, 2017 6:21 PM
> *To:* <MOBIRDS-L...>
> *Subject:* Re: Reporting accurately on eBird
> I went to Eagle Bluffs this morning determined to count every Indigo
> Bunting, Dickcissel and Common Yellowthroat. I ended up with 38 Indigo
> Buntings, 15 Dickcissels and 17 Common Yellowthroats. I'm sure I missed
> some, sometimes the brain just tunes out or several sing at once to confuse
> the brain, my brain at least.
> And about 3/4 way through the refuge I noticed I only had 1 hr left before
> I had to leave and I hadn't been to Pool 14 or 15 yet, so I had to quit
> stopping to tally every one of those. My point is, I think there are
> many reasons why the counts are not perfectly accurate, but we do the best
> we can.
> Kathleen Anderson, Columbia
> ------------------------------
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